Since its debut in 2018, Hulu’s Into The Dark has been a less preeningly conceptual answer to American Horror Story, with two seasons of 12-episode features that do not, in fact, refer back to one another. It’s drawn acting talent the likes of Suki Waterhouse, Matt Lauria and Judy Greer.
Episode 10 of the second season premieres July 17. And while the series mostly steers clear of AHS‘ confusing surrealism, Into the Dark: The Current Occupant is very keen to mess with our psychological grasp of reality. Indeed, it stars Barry Watson as a man who may or may not be the President of these (not so) United States, but definitely believes himself to be so. He’s also trapped in a terrifying but inscrutable psych ward—and the situation is definitely not looking good for him.
In the first trailer, one can readily decipher the language of cruel mind experiments within the ward (“I am running a new study, it’s highly experimental,” explains one emotionless, lab-coated operative). And with a horrified stare, Watson’s Henry Cameron (President Henry Cameron?) worriedly queries one of his “keepers,” “Am I the President of the United States?” A fellow patient then informs him, “They’re all out to get you,” before letting out a hideous cackle. Oh dear.
The episode is directed by Julius Ramsay, a respected film editor who also helmed a couple of episodes of The Walking Dead; and fittingly, screenwriter Alston Ramsay was once a DC speechwriter for the likes of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General David Petraeus. So expect the script to be shot full of insidery details.
Of course, we don’t need to elaborate on the surely intentional zeitgeistyness of the dramatic depiction of an American president being held in an insane asylum—except to say, “yes, that definitely could happen.”